From Tracie: Inspiring Creativity - Bob Ross' Birthday

Monday, October 29, 2012

Inspiring Creativity - Bob Ross' Birthday

Today would have been Bob Ross' 70th birthday. I grew up watching The Joy of Painting with my mom on Saturday mornings, and Katarina grew up watching it with me and Thomas. It is the best feel-good show, and so very calming.

In honor of this day, I'm going to share a Katarina story I blogged about in 2006, when she was three years old. (Yes, I blogged way back in 2006 - I believe it is more commonly referred to as the dark ages now.)

Bob Ross And The Rabbits
I have already confessed my love of PBS, and I feel that I can say this without shame. Monday is "Bob Ross Day" at my house. All three of us love it. Especially Katarina. She always asks if he is going to show pictures of his squirrel, whom she immediately names Poncho or Lefty after the baby squirrels we raised last year until they were old enough to live on their own. (Typing that made me feel very Bob Ross-like).

We watched Bob today. The painting was "Snow Birch."

He shared a short video of a baby owl he was raising, and Katarina thought the owl was great.

Then he did what he always does while painting - he imagined the world he was making. It started with the birch trees. He explained that one of them was growing kind of sideways, because when it was a baby, a bear knocked it over.

Katarina immediately said, "Is the bear going to be white? Where is the bear?"

I told her he wasn't actually going to paint the bear; she just had to imagine it. I reminded her how cool the owl was, and she was satisfied.

A few minutes later he was painting the snow and said, "Right here is where some little baby rabbits live in a little hole, and they peek their heads out and look at the world."

Katarina said, "What color are the rabbits going to be mommy? I think they will be brown and white. What do you think?" A few minutes later, "Mommy, where are the rabbits?"

I told her that he wasn't actually going to paint any rabbits.

"But mommy," she said, "There are rabbits there. I think there are two rabbits. One, Two. Two rabbits. And I think they are actually brown. Don't you think they should be brown? I think he is going to paint them he is going to paint the rabbits....."

[Bob says good-bye and the credits start]

"Is it over? It can't be over!"

After the credits finished rolling, I asked her how she liked the picture. She said, "The trees were pretty. I liked the bear, but I liked the rabbits best. They were cute, even if he didn't paint them."

I guess just watching other people paint can inspire creativity.


Have you seen this Bob Ross Remixed video? It makes me smile.

Here's to Bob Ross. Thank you for inspiring creativity in my family, and for sharing your art and your wisdom with us. You introduced us to happy trees and happy clouds, and reminded us that everyone needs a friend. You taught us that there are no mistakes, just happy accidents - and that is a beautiful thing.

Well, the little clock on the wall says we’re just about out of time. 
I'd like to wish you happy painting, and God bless, my friend.

Do you watch Bob Ross?


  1. I'm kind of in love with this post. Partly because I grew up watching Bob Ross with my mom as well, and partly because Katie is just awesome. lol

    1. Wonder-Twin unite.

      Of course you are a fellow Bob Ross watcher. <3

  2. I heart Bob Ross. I watched him as a kid and was usually very frustrated that my Crayola water paints didn't produce the same happy little trees. Also? Katarina is adorable!

    1. Ha! I never could make those happy little trees, either. There is a Bob Ross museum I want to go to one day - it is not too far away from Orlando.

  3. I had never even heard of Bob Ross. Feeling that as almost a loss today!

    1. You have to fix this immediately, and find some episodes to watch! You will love it.

  4. I think this post shows us just what young minds are drawn to - creating, imagining, learning. Love it! I wish my kids knew him, too. Maybe it's not too late.